Future Scottish air travel : potential policy constraints

Adams, John and Raeside, Robert (2001) Future Scottish air travel : potential policy constraints. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 26 (4). pp. 40-45. ISSN 0306-7866

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In Scotland we have seen significant growth in both passenger numbers and freight traffic in the 1990s and there is no reason to expect this to wane in the absence of policy intervention. This is especially the case if the forecasts understate passenger growth since restrictive policies are likely to have an even larger impact on UK competitiveness than anticipated. In this paper we examine a restricted set of questions in relation to the current forecasts of air passenger traffic to and from the UK. These are: How accurate have past forecasts been? How accurate are current forecasts likely to be? Do alternative forecasting methods produce different results? Should future demand be constrained? What are t he implications for social equity and regional competitiveness? These questions are addressed separately in the following sections of the paper.